The launch of 3DS Virtual Console (VC) in 2006 raised hopes that classic video games would get a new lease of life. However, Natsume Inc. suggests that no further Game Boy or Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) games will be coming to Nintendo's VC.
A retro video game fan asked Natsume on Twitter if Tail 'Gator – a classic Game Boy video game that was released back in 1991 – would release on VC. Natsume's response was no doubt a disappointment to many retro gamers:
@MegaFlare0 Nintendo have moved on from Game Boy games. If it's a Natsume game not out now, it's not coming.
— Natsume Inc. (@Natsume_Inc) October 8, 2015
Natsume has really supported VC and the game publisher is currently working to bring eight old Game Boy Advance titles to the Wii U gaming console. Some experts believe that Natsume has more knowledge about Nintendo's intentions to bring some old games to VC. However, Graham Markay, the VP of operations at Natsume, says they aren't aware of Nintendo's plans.
Markay suggests that the original publisher of a game and Nintendo make a joint decision to re-release games on VC. Markay's comments and Natsume's tweet seem to hint that Nintendo does not want to re-release games.
Markay also said that in the past, Nintendo has not shown great interest in old gaming consoles and has been more inclined toward new consoles, such as the Nintendo DS and the Game Boy Advance.
The VC of Nintendo 3DS has also not seen new releases for many months. The latest issues were three Donkey Kong Land titles that were first released on the original Game Boy in 1994 and then re-released this February in North America.
Many gamers may think that re-releasing a game for VC is very straight forward. In reality, it's not that simple and much is determined by the legal terms set by the original game publishers. Some games are very old and license agreements needs to be verified before re-releasing a game on VC. There are also technical issues that come into play with re-releasing a game.
"Development of Virtual Console titles require detailed manual work, such as testing if the software runs smoothly on each platform, or making sure the content is appropriate under the various standards currently in place," said the late Satoru Iwata, former president of Nintendo.
Photo: William Warby | Flickr